Constituent Update - March 14, 2014
Webinar Scheduled: Final Rule on New Generic Labeling
Effective Jan. 6, 2014, FSIS expanded the circumstances in which labels may be considered “generically approved.” This new rule will allow establishments to label a broader range of products without first submitting the label to the agency for approval. Companies will still need to submit labels bearing certain claims, such as organic, natural or animal-raising, as well as labels for temporary approval; products produced under religious exemption; and export-only that bear labeling deviations. FSIS will continue to verify that labels are accurate, not misleading and in compliance with all labeling features.
FSIS will host a webinar on this subject on March 25, 2014, at 2 p.m. ET. To access the webinar, go to https://connect16.uc.att.com/usda/meet/?ExEventID=85277207 and follow the on-screen instructions. Please be sure to log on as a participant.
For registration questions, contact Kristin Goodwin at (301) 504-0878 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Update: FSIS Testing for E. coli
FSIS posts bi-weekly updates for the agency’s raw ground beef E. coli sampling program. Included are testing results of raw ground beef component samples for E. coli O157:H7 and STECs from FSIS routine and follow-up sampling programs. Also featured is data for non-O157 STECs by each non-O157 STEC serogroup.
Between June 4, 2012 and March 9, 2014, FSIS laboratory services analyzed a total of 5,247 beef trim samples (4,545 domestic and 702 imported), 1,804 routine follow-up samples (1,690 domestic and 114 imported), and 55 non-routine follow-up/traceback samples. Seventy-eight samples were found to be positive; 36 were domestic trim samples; two were imported trim samples; 36 were domestic follow-up samples, and four were non-routine follow-up/traceback samples. To date, two samples have been positive for both O157:H7 and non-O157 STEC, and five samples have been positive for two different non-O157 O-groups.
To review testing results, go to E. coli data tables.
Export Requirement Updates
The Library of Export Requirements has been updated to reflect changes in export requirements for the following countries:
- Sri Lanka
Complete information can be found at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/international-affairs/exporting-products.
FSIS Public Meetings and Events
View upcoming meetings and associated meeting materials listed by date on FSIS’ Public Meeting and Events website at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/newsroom/meetings. Meetings that have concluded are listed on the Past Meetings page.) For meetings between agency officials and outside groups, see the Officials' Calendar of Meetings. The following meetings/events are upcoming:
National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods: Subcommittees
- March 25-27, 2014: Study of Microbiological Criteria as Indicators of Process Control or Insanitary Conditions
- March 18-20, 2014: Control Strategies for Reducing Foodborne Norovirus Infections
Keep Food Safe During an Emergency
Did you know that a flood, fire, national disaster or the loss of power from high winds, snow or ice could jeopardize the safety of your food?
To learn how to keep food safe, visit http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-safety-education/get-answers/food-safety-fact-sheets/emergency-preparedness/keeping-food-safe-during-an-emergency/ct_index.
FSIS Food Recalls and Alerts
Stay up to date on FSIS’ food recalls alerts by visiting FSIS’ Current Recalls and Alerts Web page at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls.
You can also receive e-mail notifications when public health alerts and recalls are issued. Register at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/subscribe.
Follow Us On Twitter
Find food safety information for at-risk people, along with tips and resources to keep consumers and other interested groups informed of the latest agency news and events. Follow FSIS on Twitter at www.twitter.com/USDAFoodSafety.
Also Tweet en Español
The FSIS Spanish language Twitter feed keeps consumers and other interested communities informed of the latest agency news and events and provides useful food safety tips.
Get Answers at askFSIS
AskFSIS is a Web-based technology and policy question-and-answer forum on topics such as exporting, labeling, inspection, programs and procedures.
In addition, askFSIS offers Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds that link back to the Q&As. Visit http://askfsis.custhelp.com/ to view recently posted topics.